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a. 2. Describe how the State will utilize professional development activities for Employment Service staff to ensure staff is able to provide high quality services to both jobseekers and employers

Current Narrative:

Alabama’s Wagner-Peyser Employment Service (ES) program utilizes a variety of resources for it’s professional development activities. Bedrock of this professional development is the Alabama State Personnel Department which offers a variety of courses such as: interview and selection; performance appraisal; presentation skills; and dynamics of supervision to ensure the selection of quality staff, properly motivated to perform with a high level of interpersonal skills seeking continuous improvement in their role as workforce professionals in the ever-evolving workforce arena. In this era of record low unemployment and record high employment ES professionals must intensify outreach/recruitment to those not in the labor force, lacking skills and possibly facing barriers to employment in order to sustain an adequate viable labor pool for employers.  Many of these recruited will require intensive services in order to identify and prepare a career pathway. Each staff member has this training plan in their individual file which is reviewed periodically for a “refresher”. 

Recent implementation of an Employee Educational/Orientation Training program featuring videos focuses on basic training for new employees and a resource for seasoned staff is expected to improve staff understanding and investment in their role while lowering staff attrition and promoting professionalism.  

Staff members are afforded the opportunity to attend Southeastern Employment and Training Association (SETA) conferences twice a year to learn the latest in workforce development programs, best practices and skills training.  The State also offers an annual Workforce Development Conference offering plenary sessions and workshops featuring National, State and local workforce leaders with expertise and best practices to share with Career Center staff. 

Veteran’s Employment and Training is provided continuously by the National Veterans Training Institute (NVTI) in Dallas, Texas for VETS LVER and DVOP staff.  ES is partnering with VETS to leverage and utilize excess training slots for Wagner-Peyser staff. Additionally, ADOL-ETA and Workforce GPS training webinar offerings are made available to One-Stop staff for live participation or viewing of recorded programs later.

Professional development programs are being evaluated to provide Career Center staff professional training and certification in the field of workforce development. This will include skills in career resources, career exploration, career planning, career development, interviewing, resumes, assessment, case management, job search, job development, job placement and employer outreach services.

Finally, in-house training developed and presented by seasoned professional leaders is increasing.  Partners are sharing in the cost of this training as staff become more cross trained and diversified across programs.